Why anyone wants to hear the words that come out of Ann Coulter’s mouth are beyond me. She lack’s Milo’s fabulousness and sense of style, and he’s little more than an empty provocateur. If Coulter twitted at you under a ‘nym, you would dismiss her as a nutjob, one of the myriad crazies that inhabit social media twitting stupid stuff.
But somehow, she became “someone,” and so she was invited to speak at Berkeley by two conservative campus organizations, the Young Americans for Freedom and the Republican Club. Whatever. If they want to listen to this dolt, who cares?
It’s not about the dolt, however, but about trolling the Antifa.
In explaining why it had canceled a speech by Ann Coulter scheduled for next week, the University of California, Berkeley, said that it had “very specific intelligence” that Ms. Coulter might be in “grave danger.”
To Ms. Coulter and her supporters, it was another example of Berkeley showing intolerance of any opinions other than the liberal ones it is famous for. But the university that championed free expression in the 1960s has become known, in the polarizing first months of the Trump presidency, as something more: a meeting ground for those wanting to express themselves with wooden clubs and fists.
There are two distinct perspectives here. One perspective is that the free speech and association aspect of the First Amendment must be upheld. Even Bernie Sanders came out in favor of letting the dolt speak,
Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous ― to my mind, off the wall. But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.
Upon hearing this, some of Bernie’s supporters rushed to prove their existence defied Darwin, decrying Bernie as a Coulter supporter, as if he just endorsed Hitler. Which brings us to the second perspective, that of the Antifa.
Leftist activists on and off campus, including a loosely organized group calling itself Antifa, for “anti-fascist,” are threatening to do anything they can to block Ms. Coulter from speaking. Right-wing supporters are gathering support on Facebook, making plans to come to the campus to defend her.
“Our basic thing is to send a loud and clear message that this is not acceptable on our campus,” said Hoku Jeffrey, a Berkeley graduate and national organizer for By Any Means Necessary, a group that took part in previous demonstrations that turned violent. “We will not tolerate anti-immigrant bigotry or bigotry of any kind, which is the only thing she’s here to do.”
And they will send that “loud and clear message” By Any Means Necessary. No, they don’t grasp the hypocrisy of waging their war against bigotry by being bigots against differing viewpoints. But if you’re going to be blind, why not be violent too.
It’s one thing to destroy property. It’s another to hide behind rocks and lash out at another person by striking them, whether by a punch, pepper spray or a bicycle U-lock. But there remains a lower level of cowardliness and hypocrisy that is concealed by the relatively benign description of these warriors for Justice.
From a person who wears a black mask and calls some gutless wonder who hits a guy on the head with a U-lock “one of our own” who keeps the “fascists” and “nazis” off campus, he’s getting scared for his own safety? Maybe he should have gone to the Science March and learned about cause and effect. Oh wait, that wasn’t the sort of science they were talking about.
But I digress. The Antifa adherent asked an important question: How can we be safe? Some immediate thoughts come to mind. Stay home. Don’t be violent. Meet the speech you hate with your own speech, and try your darndest to be less of a flaming nutjob than the person you hate.
Problem solved? Hardly. From the conflation of really stupid ideas, beginning with “speech is violence” and harms the deeply sensitive as badly ass, maybe worse than, than actual violence, which filtered through as a justification for the use of physical violence to silence disagreeable speech. The grownups haven’t merely lost control, but are actively responsible for the insanity, whether by fostering it in their charges or wielding the U-lock.
It’s alleged that the coward in the video who struck, or as the New York Times calls it, walloped, a guy on the head is a professor, Eric Clanton, who teaches ethics at Diablo Valley College. Rather than give pause to the Antifa, to consider the insanity of inflicting physical harm to silence the speech of dolts, it compels them to push harder for their cause.
This will get worse if it doesn’t end. Violence begets violence. And someone will die. Maybe a lot of people. Over the likes of Ann Coulter and Milo and the pain they inflict on the deeply passionate who can’t grasp that they are the fascists. Once again, Walt Kelly has been proven right.
There is no amount of rhetoric or passionate outrage that explains this or will resurrect the dead, murdered to silence offending voices. Stop the angry, smug, self-righteous, insanely ignorant children before they kill. Or get killed.